SMART Notebook 2014 has been out for several months now and has seen two updates. With each new update comes more features to make this the best version of SMART Notebook to date. Here is a review of some of the features and benefits of the new Notebook 2014 and how this can revolutionize your classroom.
The first amazing new benefit with Notebook 14 is that it is no longer only for SMART Boards. This makes it really easy in a school or district where classrooms have different brands of interactive whiteboards (IWBs). SMART Notebook can now be purchased to go on all IWBs and become a standard platform for creating and sharing content across any school or district. SMART Notebook 2014 can also be used in classrooms with projectors but no IWBs. This enables teachers and district curriculum specialists to design a curriculum and lessons that are interactive and usable across the school or district. Please also note that SMART Notebook can be used with mobile devices such as iPads and Chromebooks.
SMART has added more math features! The first of these is the Insert Equation add-on. When a user writes an equation on the board with the pen, the computer can recognize it and convert it to text. The text of this equation can also be used with the next add-on for Notebook, which is the GeoGebra plugin.
GeoGebra has a popular iPad app, and they have brought much of this functionality to SMART Notebook, allowing for manipulation right on the page. This plugin allows functions to be graphed, and those graphs can be manipulated with live updates to the equation. Here is a good video showing some of the basic features of GeoGebra: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pMFmy5pxrnY.
The last math add-on is Math Blocks. These blocks allow direct interaction with the pen to solve simple math problems, such as addition, subtraction, and multiplication. Math blocks are pulled into the Notebook space and connect numbers to it by writing the numbers with the pen and drawing lines to the block to perform a specific operation. Very fun for students to play with! It allows them to write on the board with the pen and have the SMART Board do the math for them. Here is a video showing the basics of how it works: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p8M6dKqT0LU
Now it is possible to not only convert handwritten notes to ink, but also to edit that text. With a few simple gestures, you are able to do four different types of edits. The screen shot at left shows the different edits that can be made. Just draw a circle or a caret (^) and a box will appear for the added text. Use a strikeout to remove text or a vertical line to remove or add a space.
For several years SMART has had their own clickers that can be used for assessment during lessons. A few years ago they created a version called SMART Response VE for use on mobile devices. This version originally came as an add-in for an additional cost, but now SMART has included these features with Notebook 14. With the prevalence of mobile devices in the classroom this is a great feature to allow formative assessment during lessons. Questions can also be tagged with standards and reports (see some of my other blog posts for more info).
This tool allows students to type messages on any web enabled device and send those messages to the Notebook page. The messages become part of the page so they can be manipulated, sorted, etc. This is a great way to engage all the students in a whole class lesson. They are really contributing to the lesson with this one!
So many great additions! There are a few other improvements as well: Notebook is now more stable, runs faster, and includes a new paint brush pen, the ability to crop pictures, and 3D tools. These improvements and additional functionality make this the best version of Notebook software to date! Stay tuned for more new features to come!